Ahead of the Arrow season 7 premiere on Monday, star Katie Cassidy has only one piece of advice for newcomer Ruby Rose, who's set to play Batwoman in this year's crossover event with Supergirl and The Flash. "Girl, get it. That’s all I have to say," says Cassidy. "Good for you girl. Freaking get it."
The actress, who's been a mainstay in the so-called "Arrowverse" since it's inception, isn't the only one who's pumped about the addition of the Gotham hero. Fellow Arrow star Rick Gonzalez is also pretty excited about the upcoming "Elseworld" team-up episodes, and hopes that his character Rene, also known as the vigilante Wild Dog, gets a chance to tango with Batwoman on the small screen.
Katie Cassidy, Rick Gonzalez talk Arrow season 7, Ruby Rose's Batwoman
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"I’m hoping Wild Dog gets to interact with Batwoman," says Gonzalez. "I remember my first crossover, I got to interact with Supergirl and the Flash. Just to see Wild Dog right there in the mix with them was iconic for me in my mind."
While Cassidy and Gonzalez can't wait to see Batwoman take up her cape and cowl, some fans weren't exactly happy with the casting of Rose when it was announced over the summer. The actress received a ton of backlash from angry social media users, who claimed that she wasn't lesbian, a trait that's been integral to the modern, Kate Kane version of Batwoman. Rose, who came out at 12 and describes herself as gender fluid, posted one final message addressing the issue before deleting her Twitter account, saying that she was often called "too gay" for many roles in the past. "How do y’all flip like that? I didn’t change."
Controvesy aside, Gonzalez believes Rose's Batwoman will be a beacon of hope to members of the LGBTQ community. The actor has nothing but praise for the CW and "Arrowverse" architect Greg Berlanti, as they've consistently featured diverse characters and cast members with each of the network's superhero series.
"I’m always a big fan of identity and using our platform to give people empowerment through identity," says Gonzalez. "If we only allow a certain identity to evolve or to succeed in TV and film, then we’re kind of alienating the world. We’re kind of saying that they don’t matter and this is the only thing that matters."
"What I love about the CW and Warner Bros., DC and Greg Berlanti, who’s championing not just the LGBTQ community, but Latinos and blacks and all races and cultures," he adds. "That’s what he wants to see, diversity at its finest, because that’s the real world."
Batwoman won't be the only hero joining the fray when the three-night crossover airs Dec. 9-11, as the event will also mark the debut of Bitsie Tulloch's Lois Lane and the return of Tyler Hoechlin's Superman. Although major details are being kept under wraps, "Elseworld" will bring together heroes from across the CW's DC multiverse for what's sure to be a game-changing team-up.
"If Wild Dog can throw some jabs at Superman, then my bucket list is done," jokes Gonzalez. "Well maybe not done, but it’ll be up there."
Before we get to that point, Gonzalez and company have to deal with the ramifications from the season 6 finale and how that will impact the team going into Arrow season 7. The show's status quo has shifted significantly, as Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen will kick off the new season in jail, leaving Star City without its beloved Green Arrow.
Gonzalez notes that Team Arrow will have to find a way forward without their fearless leader, all while dealing with the impending threat of last year's big baddie, Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), who evaded capture in the finale and has now joined forces with the mysterious and deadly Longbow Hunters.
"With new Team Arrow, a lot of questions will be answered right away," says Gonzalez.
For Cassidy, she's excited to see the evolution of her character Black Siren, a villain from another Earth and mirrors her original character Black Canary, who was killed off the show in season 4. According to the actress, Arrow season 7 will take a deeper dive into what makes this version of Laurel Lance tick.
"There’s a lot, but it’s cool to get an opportunity to explore the backstory of Black Siren," says Cassidy. "We’ll dive more into her story."
Overall, both stars can't wait for the fans to see how grounded and real Arrow season 7 will be.
"What I love about being on the show, season 7, we create a lot of storylines for each other and, at the end of the day, we don’t throw anything away," says Gonzalez. "We still carry the weight of everything that we’ve been through, everything that we deal with, to make it super believable and make the fans invested."
Arrow season 7 premieres Monday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. on the CW.